I labored for a total of 22 hours. As I mentioned, 5 hours were without an epidural. I'm not going to lie, it hurt like a mo'fo'. Then I got blissed out for a while. Ahhh.
Some time during the day, I experienced back labor pains for the first time in my life.
HOLY S***. That was a whole new pain I had never experienced. It got to be so bad that one of my nurses contacted the anesthesiologist. He came in and said that he could provide a stronger dosage that would help. Unfortunately, it lasted for only a little while and then the back pain would r-a-g-e again.
I had great nurses who, with the help of The Man, would turn me on my side. I felt a bit like a rotisserie chicken. But whatever it took for me to get maximum benefit from my epidural, right? Hellz yah. The Man and my mom continued to be my side, only leaving to eat or to use the restroom. Thankfully, I wasn't hungry. Probably due to the drugs although the IV drip probably also helped. At least with the thirst.
Around 4:00 PM, in the 21st hour, a nurse said I was finally ready to push. I have to say, I was so relieved because I still worried things were going to go down like last time - after all the laboring, I would only be a few centimeters dilated and it would be all for naught. Again. But nope, my nurse said I was ready to push!
But I was confused. Where was everyone else? I know a cesarean section is major surgery and that's why I had a room full of doctors and nurses. But seriously, just one nurse? I didn't say anything because I was merely curious, not alarmed. And, of course, I was also just plain exhausted. Later, The Man would tell me he thought the same thing. "Uh, my wife is going to start pushing. Where IS everybody else?"
But we were tired. So we did what we were told to do. He held one leg while the nurse held the other. My mom patted my hair and shoulder while I rested between pushes. And, by golly, I pushed with all my might. Well, as much might as I could provide with no feeling from my diaphragm down. It was a lot like one saw on the movies - woman bearing down and pushing with all her might.
Oh, one of the challenges of having an epidural for 17 hours? No food or drink except for water. On the plus side? When one is pushing, the less likelihood of pooping while pushing.
I pushed for nearly an hour. Sometime during that hour, another nurse joined us. I have to say, I knew nurses were bad asses but I didn't know that they had to also manage and facilitate the vaginal births. Hats off to them, they've really got huge jobs that encompass just about everything. I think when The Bean's head was crowning, one of the nurses got the midwife.
Maybe too much time has passed - it's now been 17 days - but I can't remember all the details. For instance, I wish I remembered the two nurses names but I don't. The midwife's name, however, is on The Bean's hospital birth certificate so I know I can at least find that out. She had visited me from time to time to check on me but I hadn't seen her much during my visit. Anyhow, I remember the midwife came in at the very end of my labor and took over. She told me when to push and minutes later, I heard the Bean cry.
I cried when I heard his cry.
Even though I had an epidural, I still more lucid than when I gave birth to The Bun. This is the part that is bitter sweet. The moment when I heard him cry, I was so moved. I looked at The Man and I felt like we, with God, had done something miraculous. I wish I had felt that moment with The Bun. I remember feeling detached from the experience, glad that The Man felt moved by her birth but I had very little emotion. It felt unreal and I was so doped up and out of it. The only thing that makes me feel less guilty is knowing that The Bun doesn't have memories of that experience.
After I heard The Bean's cry, the midwife and nurses vigorously rubbed him down and placed him on my chest. He was so little! It was hard to believe he was 7 lbs. 3 oz. and 20 inches long. He looked itty bitty like The Bun! But he wasn't. While he was by no means huge, my lady parts told me otherwise as my midwife took several minutes to stitch me up. How many stitches? She didn't say and I was too chicken to ask.
Thankfully, recovery was a lot different from my first pregnancy. I was able to leave the hospital one day after giving birth. They have a policy in which the mother and baby have to stay at least 24 hours after the birth. I recalled not getting a ton of rest after my first delivery but, because we had made it known we were interested in leaving the next day, we got extremely little rest. We have hospital staff coming into the room just about every hour, sometimes more during regular business hours. It was ridiculous. But in addition to the 24 hour policy, we also had to stay because it took a while for me to get feeling back in my legs. I couldn't go to the bathroom unassisted for quite a while. When I thought everything was fine and kind of dismissed the nurse's request (more like demand) that I contact them if I need to use the restroom, I almost fell from the toilet onto the floor. My right leg, the one taking the longest to regain feeling, just gave out on me. So yes, after that experience, I pressed the call button every single time I needed to use the loo.
I know I'm not giving all the details like I did with The Bun's. For instance, I didn't write about how I didn't recover feeling back in my legs until about 12 hours after I gave birth. And how when they moved me from Labor & Delivery to Post Partum, I swear I had the smallest nurses who thought they could transfer me by a wheelchair. But when they realized I couldn't move myself AT ALL and there was no way they could lift with their 95 lbs bodies, they had to move me by bed. And even that was a freakin' s-show because they eventually had to transfer me onto another bed. And all I could do was lie there and try to pull myself up with my arms which was a joke because I have very little upper body strength.
But at least it's done. For the most part. I wanted to write down The Bean's birth before I plum forget everything. Currently, I'm waking up every 2-3 hours every night to feed and we have that same schedule during the day. I'm thankful God blessed me with a good pregnancy, labor and healthy baby so I try to keep that top of mind when I'm bone weary:)
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